North Tonawanda, NY - A North Tonawanda family is thankful they have each other after a fire destroyed their home last month.
But now, a woman they call their Christmas angel is doing everything she can to make sure Santa grants their Christmas wishes.
"When I opened the door, I went down, it was all full of smoke. I tried to go around the corner to see if I could do anything, but the smoke got so thick," says Nancy Straccamore.
Straccamore, her two daughters and three grandchildren escaped from their burning home the weekend before Thanksgiving. They lost everything in that fire, and they won't be able to move back in for six months.
"We all want to go back home. So hopefully, we get our wish to go back home," says Straccamore.
They stayed at a hotel for a few weeks, until a family friend found a fully furnished house to borrow.
"Makes you feel really good that there are good people out there," she says.
One of those good people is Donna Hemmerling.
"If it wasn't for Donna, I would have the shorts and t-shirt I ran out of the house in," says Samantha Straccamore.
Donna even arraigned for Santa to visit the hotel.
"They loved it. They got a basket of candy, they each got a gift and a coloring book and crayons and they loved it. It's all they talked about that they got Santa to come," said Nancy.
So what did they ask for?
"My house and Legos," says Mason, who is seven.
Donna and Nancy have been good friends for more than 25 years. They have been through a lot together already.
"To be honest, I don't have much myself, but I would give everything I have for them to have a great Christmas," says Hemmerling. "I've got to try to give this family a Christmas, especially these children. And, I will take out of my pocket or away from my family. Just to do what I can do to help them."
And, the Straccamores would of course return Donna's kind actions if things were the other way around.
"We actually got her an angel for Christmas, because she's like our Christmas angel. Without her, we would be a wreck," said Samantha.
"We got each other and my kids remind me every day that as long as we have each other, we'll be okay," says Heather Straccamore.
If you would like to help, contact Donna at (716) 444-6014.
List of needs:
Nancy: sz 0/1 pants
shirt sz med
shoes or boots sz 7.5
coat sz sm/med
Heather: sz 5 pants
shoes and boots sz 7.5
Samantha: sz 13/14 pants
shoes and boots sz 7.5
Mason (Age 7): pants sz 7
sneakers sz 1
Madilynn (Age 5): pants sz 6
shirt sz 5/6
Autumn (Age 18 mos.): half pants
shirts sz 2 t
diapers sz 5
The family also needs tires for the vehicle as the tires are all bald: sz p235/65/r16